Relocated from the Shawnigan Lake area to Glenora, the Ceevacs Roadrunners’ Cowichan Autumn Classic will showcase the Valley’s wineries this year, with Vigneti Zanatta stepping up as a major sponsor.
"As far as I know, our event is the only wine-sponsored event on southern Vancouver Island," race director Dave Vanderlinde said. "They are quite popular in the Okanagan, so with all the wineries in the Cowichan Valley, it seemed like a natural fit." Starting at the Glenora Hall, the event includes a half marathon and 10k along quiet rural roads and the Trans Canada Trail, with the finish line at the vineyard.
This is the first year the races will be held in Glenora.
"After 38 years, Ceevacs Roadrunners Club decided late last year that it was time to look into another venue to hold our annual fall half marathon and what became 10k races," Vanderlinde said. "The main reason was that Renfrew Road, over which our Shawnigan Kinsol Half Marathon
and Half-a-Half races had started and ended, was becoming very busy with vehicle traffic. Each year, there appeared to be more and more cars using that road to access the park area west of Shawnigan Lake.
As part of the partnership with Zanatta, participants will receive, instead of a medal, an unbreakable, stemless 12-oz. wine glass with 1.5 oz of Zanatta wine, or juice or coffee.
The Ceevacs are working once again with KidSport Cowichan, donating $2.50 from each registration to KidSport. After raising $1,400 through last year’s races, they are hoping to beat that mark this year. They are also partnering with Glenora Farm, which will be running the water station at Glenora Trailhead Park.
The race begins at 10:30 a.m. for halfmarathon runners who expect to take more than two and a half hours, 10:45 for all 10k runners, and 11 a.m. for the rest of the half-marathon runners.
Registration is still available on race day, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Glenora Hall.